426 Tasting Notes
So far all the Nina’s teas I’ve tried do better at a slightly lower temperature than I’d usually use. This time I brewed this just below boiling, and it worked much better. There’s a lot more peach to it and it mixes well with the apple. I’m upping the rating since this is so juicy; I would definitely consider getting this if there was room in my cabinet.
Another sipdown. I finally got around to cold-brewing this and it smells like fresh raspberry jam. The taste is tart but much fruitier than when I brewed it hot, so I think I’m going to declare this cup a success. The berry flavors really blend well with the base and make a good, balanced cup of tea. This strikes me as a breakfast tea thanks to the astringency, and I can imagine it going really well with pastries in the morning. Yum!
Sipdown! This time around I tried brewing it at a lower temperature just to see how it does, and I think I like it even better than before this way. I taste the toasted rice right away before it blends into the caramel (which is much brighter and sweeter this time around), and the end of the sip is fresh and sweet in a vegetal way. I don’t remember getting the flavor of the base tea before, so it’s an improvement for me. This is absolutely wonderful and I’ll have to think about getting some once I use some other teas up.
I wasn’t quite sure what I wanted this afternoon, so I grabbed the first thing I reached for—this. It’s actually very good. It starts out with a honey-like flavor, which I always love in tea, and the aftertaste is dark and deep but still sweet. The best description I can come up with is grilled fruit. It’s a smooth cup and just what I needed as a pick-me-up today.
At some point I read that roasted teas go well with fatty meals, and since then I’ve found it’s true. This feels like the perfect way to follow up my dinner of bacon, steak, and potatoes—the roasted flavors cut the richness of the bacon fat, and the caramel aftertaste feels like dessert.
The scent of this is almost entirely caramel, with just a little roastiness that makes it feel different from other caramel teas. The beginning of the sip is all genmaicha, to the point that I almost miss the caramel, but then it shows up in a slightly sweet, smooth aftertaste. It’s a really good combination that I wouldn’t have thought of myself and wasn’t sure was going to work, but that’s exactly why I wanted to try it. Thank you NayLynn for surprising me with this one!
This is unlike anything I’ve tried before. There’s a lot of nuttiness and the sesame is surprisingly dark (maybe roasted?) and reminds me almost of coffee beans. The fruit is subtle but adds a richness to the whole thing—I wouldn’t call this fruity or sweet at all, but it’s still noticeable. A very interesting cup! I’m glad I opened this sample first of the ones I have left.
True to its name, this one isn’t so good hot but gets much better when it’s cold. The strawberry is really gentle in this, with more basil than I expected and a slight sweet aftertaste. It’s refreshing but not my favorite, mostly because of the strawberry. It could stand to be stronger, but unlike most other red fruit teas I’ve tried from this company they didn’t try to enhance it with hibiscus, which is a plus in my book.
Flavors: Herbaceous, Strawberry, Sweet
After doing a major overhaul of my tea collection today (mostly just reorganizing and getting rid of unwanted boxes), I found I only have a few bags of this left; so much the better. Even considering bagged teas, this is possibly the most mediocre earl grey I have tried. There’s just nothing about it that makes me want another cup, and I’ve found it’s really hard to brew correctly without it going bitter. Hopefully in the next few days I’ll sip it down and then I’ll avoid it from now on.
This is much darker and roastier than I was expecting (which is not my favorite kind of oolong). For me this was slightly bitter, although I’m sensitive to those flavors—my mom didn’t seem to notice or be bothered by any bitterness. There are also some deep earthy flavors and a moderate amount of roastiness. Definitely a good dark oolong, but when I want something roasted I’m more likely to reach for a green.